Getting married or divorced
Marriage and super
If you are getting married and you or your partner is changing their surname, be sure to let your fund know. Your fund will ask for the appropriate documentation, so be sure to have copies to send them.
Making the decision to settle down with that special someone is a big step. Of course, there are many important decisions to be made but don’t forget to have a discussion about your super. It is important that you understand your partner’s superannuation arrangements including any insurance they may hold through their super fund. For example, who is the beneficiary for their super and do they hold any insurance or income protection through their super fund?
If you and your partner wish to change the beneficiary arrangements for your super, you can contact your fund for assistance.
More information on beneficiaries is available on our What happens to super after death? page.
Although you cannot combine your superannuation with your partner’s you can certainly make a retirement plan together and discuss how you plan to invest your super so that you can achieve the lifestyle that you want and deserve.
Now may also be a good time to discuss spouse contributions – especially if you, or your partner, are planning to take some time off work to start a family.
Divorce and super
The law says that superannuation benefits can be divided or split between parties if the relationship breaks down. This applies to both married and de facto couples – of the same or opposite sex.
The separating couple may be able to come to an agreement on how the super is split and write up a ‘super agreement’ which outlines how the super benefits are to be divided. Where the parties cannot agree a court that hears family law matters will determine how the super payment will be split.
Super funds are required to provide information on a person’s superannuation benefits if the relationship breaks down. However they cannot provide personal details such as address or phone number.
If you are currently going through separation or divorce you should talk to both your fund and your legal adviser about what options are available to you with regards to your super.
When your marital or family circumstances change, it is important that you review your beneficiary nomination for your super. Keeping it up-to-date will ensure it remains valid and effective.
You can usually change your nomination at any time, in writing to your fund.